I get asked a lot by clients which running bras I recommend, so I was excited when MAAREE asked me if I would like to try their High Impact sports bra. It’s a brand I hadn’t heard of before, and believe me, I’ve tried a LOT.
The MAAREE brand was set up by Mari Thomas, who has competed at national level in sport and after her career turned to sports bra performance testing under lab conditions, she found that her ultimate support didn’t exist, so decided to come up with a solution.
The MAAREE sports bras have a distinctive Overband, which are designed to prevent upwards motion. Did you know our boobs move in a figure of eight motion when we’re active? Most brands focus on reducing the largest movement, which is downward, whereas MAAREE focuses on both upward and downward movement.
MAAREE also try to educate women about the importance of wearing the correct bra size and offer online fittings. Did you know 80% of women are wearing the wrong size sports bra? I attended an online fitting with Mari via Zoom. She made me feel really comfortable, and talked me through measuring my band size first of all, then measuring around my bust to enable me to work out what my cup size would be. Mari asked what size I normally wear, and suggested I should drop a band size based on my measurements, and increase by 2 cup sizes. She explained that often, a lot of chafing occurs because there is friction between the strap and the skin, if, for example, the bra is the wrong size, so a better fitting bra should prevent this.
My new Solidarity High Impact Sports Bra in Forest Green arrived promptly. Mari had suggested that it might feel a little stiff when it first arrived, so I should just give it a little stretch to soften the material, and then because it is a smaller band size than I’m used to, I might find it easier to fasten at the front, then twist around. Immediately I could feel how supportive the bra would be. The Overband adjusts under the arms, in the same way the straps adjust, and I could feel the difference as I tightened or loosened it.
What do I like about the sports bra?
- It fits well and feels really supportive.
- I’ve had absolutely no chafing at all, even while wearing a pack in warm conditions. This must be down to the good fit.
- The Overband definitely works in terms of stopping upward bounce. I don’t feel any movement at all when I run, which is great!
- The fabric of the bra feels beautifully soft next to the skin, and I like the breathable mesh fabric between the breasts too.
- I can wear it with straight straps, like a normal bra, or racer back style if I have a vest on. Be aware you will need to make some adjustments to the tightness of the straps here, to make it comfortable. Race back style seems to give an extra level of support, but I generally wear it without clipping the straps together.
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